8 Avril 2012
April 08, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
HAMAMATSU (Kyodo) -- The mayoral race in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, commenced Sunday with three candidates focusing on whether to restart the Hamaoka nuclear power station, which has been suspended at the request of the government in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The three candidates are incumbent Shigeo Ishihara, 64, who is seeking a third term, travel agent Haruhisa Muramatsu, 60, who is backed by the Japanese Communist Party, and former city councilor Katsuhisa Mizuno, 58.
In their campaign speeches, Ishihara said he would decide whether to restart the power plant through discussions with city residents and by taking into account lessons learned from the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi complex, while Muramatsu said the Hamaoka plant should be decommissioned.
The voting and count will take place next Sunday.
Mizuno pledged he would not accept resumption of the plant during his term, saying, "Everybody hopes the plant will not be resumed."
The Hamaoka power station in the city, operated by Chubu Electric Power Co., has been suspended since last year after an unprecedented request from the government following the March 2011 disaster, based on a prediction that a magnitude 8-class quake could hit the region in the first half of this century.